Labour Member of Parliament for the Makerfield Constituency.
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Free Debt Advice Bill
A leading North West forum held a one day conference at the Wigan Investment Centre, supported by the Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG). The conference brought together leading practitioners in the money advice, consumer credit and personal debt sector including advice agencies, banks, local authorities and charitable trusts.
Wigan Evening Post 26th Sept 2011
I was pleased to address the meeting and announce that I had secured parliamentary time to introduce a Bill to require fee charging debt management companies to inform potential clients of the availability of free advice on debt management.
In my speech, I also attacked the extortionate rates of interest that Pay Day Loan companies offer.
Whilst payday loans can offer a solution to people who need a short term fix, they often offer it at extortionate rates of over 2000% APR and this can lead to spiralling and unaffordable debt by allowing customers to keep borrowing to pay off the original loan.
There is another option available for people offering a pathway out of debt – the free advice sector with trusted organisations like Citizens Advice and Law Centres across the country offering impartial advice and a network of Credit Unions like Unify and Welcome, here in Wigan who provide secure savings and cheap loans to members.